What Do Translators Do?
Translators translate documents from one language into another. A translator’s career usually involves working from a foreign language they speak fluently and translating back into their mother tongue.
Translators differ from interpreters as the latter translates verbally in real time from one language to another. A career in translation involves writing rather than speaking, although many translators nowadays use technology, such as voice recognition.
A translator’s career is varied and interesting. Translators work with many kinds of documents, such as scientific and technical material and legal, financial and commercial documents.
Some specialize in literary translations. Decide what area suits you best. This will depend on your interests and your desire or ability to study or travel and work in another country.
Localization services will make marketers invest into translation
Localization and translation services make up the fourth fastest growing industry at the moment. With more companies developing localized content for local markets, you can find many work opportunities as a translator.
Companies are looking for a multilingual specialized in marketing and localization. They need experts who can translate various types of content and then tailor marketing campaigns for specific target audiences.
From translating user manuals and software to adapt commercial messages for local markets, there’s a lot of work in this field.
As most internet users prefer to buy from companies that speak local languages, businesses need to adapt their strategies to connect with their potential customers.
Companies must localize in 2019 to maintain or increase their market shares. About 65 percent of multinational companies think localization is important or very important for increasing revenues this year. That makes for a lot of new work in this industry.
What does a career in translation really mean?
In 2016, they were over 50,000 interpreters and translators working in the industry in the US alone. According to statistics, in 2020, the number of specialists in this field will reach 90,000.
Following a career in the language industry can take you way beyond plain translation. Localization projects require well-prepared project managers to guide teams. This includes translators, linguists, programmers, local marketing experts, and localization engineers.
If you have the right skills for the job, you can try building a solid career in translation without having to speak four languages.
Besides translation and interpretation services, companies in this industry provide a wide range of complementary services. Subtitling, dubbing, and voice-over are other areas in which you can build a career in translation.
Translator’s job is a chance to learn new and useful information with every project
A career in translation keeps you permanently updated about the latest trends in your niche. Whether you work as a translator or an interpreter, this job forces you to keep learning to deliver the best results for your clients.
Some domains are more demanding than others. Medical and technical translation requires much more than just knowing the terminology in both the original and the target language.
When translating medical journals or users manuals, you need to understand the context of your translation. Knowing the topics in discussion well allows you to deliver high-quality translations, using the right terms and the correct writing style.
Permanent learning is an important element when building your career in translation, in any niche. You must keep up with the latest discoveries and trends whether you translate a declaration of specifications for the pharma industry or a novel for a publishing house.
In any domain, knowing how people speak and what words they use gives you a huge advantage over your competitors.
Why considering a machine translation
Machine translation and automatic tools won’t steal your job. A career in translation means learning to use CAT tools to work better and faster. We’re talking about complex software that can help you do your job with less room for errors. Free online tools still can’t provide accurate results, or replace human translation.
If you learn to use translation tools, you’ll be able to reduce turnarounds and keep payments in line with your peers. CAT tools help translators become better at what they do. They can’t do the job alone.
So, if you start a translator’s career in 2019–as a freelancer or inside a company – you’ll still have a job in the following years!
This industry allows you to develop your skills and get better with every new project you take. You’ll get to earn more, as soon as you progress in your career. And even better than that? You get to specialize in a specific domain and become an expert in your niche.
With so many reasons to consider a translator’s career this year, there’s only one question left to ask – what are you waiting for?
Other reasons to consider translator’s career
Working as a translator is not the only career option available to graduates – interpreting can be a lucrative and interesting job too.
Interpreters are of high demand in many areas of business and society, from foreign business meetings and court interpreting to speaking for a newly signed sports star from abroad.
Another option is project management. This role involves working with the translators to satisfy the clients’ requests and requires good organization, negotiation skills and, a lot of patience.
Although project managers perform little actual translating the job involves proofreading and knowledge of CAT tools is a huge advantage.
Practical Tips for Newcomers to the Translation Industry
- Keep your CV up to date & specific
Translations agencies are busy places so if you want to stand out amongst the list of other potential translators you should make it clear what your skills are. When a project manager is searching for a translator, for a specific project your CV can make the difference between getting the job and being overlooked.
- Learn to use CAT tools
CAT tools such as Trados and Memoq not only save time but can keep projects consistent and help you save your clients’ time and money.
- Be prepared to be flexible
Translation requests can often be urgent so flexibility will mean a lot for project managers and clients.
- Choose your rate carefully
As a freelance translator, you can choose your rates. It’s important to research the industry standard for your language combination and specialty, as this will directly affect the amount of work you can get. But you don’t want to be too cheap either…
- Gain experience
Experience counts for a lot. Whether gained through an internship as a project manager, voluntary translation for a charity or interpreting for a friend, it will be useful in future jobs. Experience and knowledge in a specialist field are valuable and they demand a proper estimation.